I was very impressed by the analysis of the films given the target audience of the book. O'Connor goes much deeper than the performance of actors and famous directors. I learned the most from the analysis regarding film styles, especially the significance of films that pioneered certain genres such as film noir. These tidbits contribute to a dimension of the book that serves as a very brief snapshot of film in an art history class context.
The only issue I have with the book is the spoilers. I would advise readers not to read the complete synopsis if they are interested in seeing the film. However, the plot summary is a necessary evil for the book to deliver on a variety of levels. Some films are most remembered for a twist ending or the death of a character, and the cultural references described by the book would be limited without spoilers. Furthermore, the most sophisticated film analysis books also do not hold back on spoilers. It is needed to properly discuss the merits of a film.
Overall, with the suggested reader audience in mind, I highly recommend Reel Culture for movie lovers and the pop culture aficionado.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eden Prairie, Minnesota United States